1. In a medium saucepan, combine the potatoes, thyme sprig, bay leaves, peppercorns, 2 teaspoons of the salt, and enough cold water to cover the potatoes by 1 inch. Bring the potatoes to a boil over high heat and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook the potatoes until fork-tender, about 20 minutes. Cool the potatoes in the cooking liquid to reduce the risk that they will crumble or break when sliced. Then slice them crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds and set aside.
This may be done up to several days in advance.
2. Combine the raisins and cider in a small bowl and let stand until the raisins are plumped, about 15 minutes.
3. Season the scallops on both sides with 1 teaspoon of the remaining salt and 1/2 teaspoon of the white pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large saute pan over high heat. When hot, add half of the scallops and cook until deep golden brown on the first side, about 3 minutes. Turn the scallops and cook until browned on the second side, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer the scallops from the pan to a paper towel–lined plate and repeat with the remaining scallops.
Once all of the scallops have cooked, tent them with a piece of aluminum foil to keep them warm.
4. Add the remaining tablespoon of oil to the pan and reduce the heat to medium-high. Add the cabbage and cook until it begins to wilt, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and cook until reduced by half, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the potatoes, the raisins and cider, and the stock. Bring the liquid to a boil, occasionally swirling the pan. As the sauce begins to thicken, whisk in the butter little by little, working quickly and fully incorporating each addition before adding more. Do not allow the sauce to boil after you begin adding the butter or the sauce will break. Add the chopped thyme and julienned apple and season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper.
5. To serve, spoon one-quarter of the cabbage and potato mixture along with some of the sauce onto each of four plates, then top each plate with 3 scallops. Sprinkle the toasted pine nuts around the scallops and serve immediately.
Yield: 4 main- course or 6 appetizer servings